IG: _solfege

The study of the literature on the subject in the field of vocal and instrumental music shows a consistent understanding of the term CANTABILE across epochs, genres and schools.

Cantabile is fluency and smoothness.

Cantabile means that which is full of melody.

Cantabile is when something seems to be sung and yet it is not.

Cantabile is what can be sung.

Cantabile is melancholy and sentiment.

Cantabile is a kind of sadness in which you dwell out of pleasure.

The purpose of the Critical Guide to Cantability is to provide those interested in cantability with some valuable examples of its presence in the surrounding world.

Inspire the love of music, appreciate its beauty and wisdom - this will be achieved by getting acquainted with the melodies in their utmost simplicity - those that are the purest example of a noble tonal material. In order to develop a voice with which you can sing such music on your own and for your own pleasure, you only need what is given to everyone - a voice or even just an inner voice. Every person has a voice, or a memory of it, that he can recall, and with this imaginary voice he can practice singing. Becoming familiar with the melodies should be a natural and effortless process. No above-average musical or vocal aptitude is required. What's more, they are not desirable because, paradoxically, they often stand in the way of real music, that is, music that does not only come from education, hard work and talent. The voice used in proposed way of singing should be of the least interest. Let the exercises be guided by the belief that the music gives a voice to sing, and not the other way around - that the voice supports and conditions the possibility of singing.

It is advisable to pay good attention to the syllables sung, because they, as in magical formulas, trigger the cantability present in all things. In colors, times of the day, parts of the body, in flavors, softnesses, shapes, smells, in speeds, partings, lights, in positions, structures, movements, consequences, in delays and flexibilities, everyone interested should find the cantability recognized as its own, available everywhere and at any time.

Following the theory of music and Józef Karol Lasocki, the creator of Little Solfege / Mały solfeż, who obeyed the theory of music, the material of the Critical Guide to Cantability covers the fundamental scales of the European tonal system. The predominant principle, which makes the subsequent exercises cantabile, is assigning to every exercise a different and specially created text layer divided into syllables and arrangemed corresponding to the subsequent scale steps. The standard solmization on the syllables do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si is completely omitted and replaced. Instead, syllables used in the exercises are constituting the statements describing the emanation of singing in the world around us. They work similarly to spells and, as Joseph Eichendorf wrote in his poem Wünschelrute in 1835, they awaken "a song that sleeps in all things around." Selected from Józef Karol Lasocki's Little Solfege, the melodies are simple, complete and attractive. In harmony with the text given to them, but also sung a cappella, they pass the most severe test of their value as music.


- a historical view

The term cantabile first appeared in print in 1558 in the treatise Le istitutioni harmoniche by Gioseffo Zarlino. It is used to describe "those parts of the cantilena that let themselves be sung exceptionally well". In Giulio Caccini's arie antiche, the term cantabile denotes a skillfully constructed, singable melody, characterized by simplicity and lack of dramatic affect. At the end of the 17th century, the word cantabile appears in German-speaking countries. The title page of Johann Sebastian Bach's Dreistimmige Inventionen recommends the collection of piano pieces as "an aid in acquiring a singing style of playing". Since the beginning of the 18th century Cantabile has been an auxiliary term for tempo (pace) and expression markings, most often associated with slow movements (parts of composition). According to Johann Joachim Quantz, however, cantabile has its distinctive idiomatic tempo. Cantabile understood as an articulation cue means not so much the sequence of sounds of a specific character, but the way of binding them together. Following the evolution of the term from the 1820s reveals a broadened way of its understanding - cantabile becomes not only a term for a singable melody or a lyrical character of music. It is an idiom that simultaneously signifies a slow tempo, performed against the background of the regularly moving rubato and the accompanying spontaneous ornamentation of the melodic line.

Term Cantabile appears in France at the beginning of the 19th century, and its popularity is documented by the pedagogical literature of the leading piano teachers of that period. Fryderyk Chopin's compositions written in Paris in the years 1828-1846 contain fifteen cantabile designations. Chopin's cantabiles are distinguished by three features that make up the brightest moment of the idiom's popularity in instrumental music. These are the aforementioned slow tempo, rubato on regularly moving bass and spontaneous decoration of the lyrical melody line.

Realized as part of scholarship program of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage - Kultura w sieci.